防範工作場所的閒言閒語──GUARDING AGAINST WORKPLACE GOSSIP

有一種病困擾著工作場所,很少受到關注卻是毀滅性的,這種「病」叫做「閒言閒語」,那是一種針對他人,重複貶損、貶低和經常傳遞虛假信息的行為。它會破壞人際關係,損害員工士氣,並且可能毒害任何工作環境。

對珍妮佛來說,閒言閒語是一種運動,她是我商業生涯早期的一名員工。和她見面提起其他人的名字時,她常常會告訴我,聲稱是某個人說我的負面的事情,因為她的閒言閒語,我的一些關係變得緊張。她被解僱後,我發現她的許多評論,都是為了讓自己看起來更好的謊言。

我一直很欣賞以弗所書4章29節的智慧,其中使徒保羅提供了這樣的指示:污穢的言語一句不可出口,只要隨事說造就人的好話,叫聽見的人得益處。」以下是這段經文和其他經文中四個基於聖經的洞見,可以幫助我們防止閒言閒語:

第一個洞見是「汙穢的言語」。前段時間,我參加了一個過去不認識的人,主持的電台採訪。後來有朋友問我採訪如何,我開始批評電台主持人的風格。然後,上帝的靈斥責我,使我知道自己的評論不健康,甚至可能有害,會破壞電台主持人的可信度。因此我發誓以後要保守自己的口舌。

停止工作場所的閒言閒語,從保守自己的口舌,遠離汙穢的言語開始。正如箴言21章23節所教導的那樣:「謹守口與舌的,就保守自己免受災難。 」

第二個洞見是「造就」,用我們的話來建造人,而不是用負面批評來貶低他們。最近,一位好友問我是否認識我任職會計師時期的米爾斯先生。我記得自己剛從大學畢業,米爾斯先生就僱用了我,我印象最深刻的是他如何造就和肯定我,甚至說服我熱情地去做我不感興趣的事情。

正如羅馬書 15章2節所教導的:「我們各人務要叫鄰舍喜悅,使他得益處,建立德行。」
如果你想保護自己免受閒言閒語,請訓練自己造就人,而不是貶低人。

第三個洞見是「只說好話」。幾年前,我在一所新學校的董事會任職。有一天,一位惱怒的家長聽到有關學校領導階層的多個謠言之後打電話來。我們發現謠言的來源是一個愛說閒話的母親把事情誇大到非常離譜的程度!

雅各書3章8節明智地指出:「惟獨舌頭沒有人能制伏,是不止息的惡物,滿了害死人的毒氣。」為了防止閒言閒語和有害的言語,當下只說必要的好話。

最後的洞見是「和氣帶來的益處」。一個為我們結帳的雜貨店員對我的妻子凱西說了一些尖銳和冒犯的話。當凱西指出她的冒犯時,對方卻毫不在意,所以她要求店員承認自己不恰當的行為。然而,回到家後,凱西說:「我需要回到雜貨店向那位店員道歉。」她真的回去了,用和氣帶給人的益處,化解了一個緊張的局面。

正如歌羅西書4章6節所說:「你們的言語要常常帶著和氣, 好像用鹽調和,就可知道該怎樣回答各人。」用和氣帶來益處的方式來調合我們的言語,能避免受傷的感覺,並防止散佈閒言閒語。

註:本文中之閒言閒語,原文為gossip,聖經中稱為「往來傳舌」,或泛指職場中之「八卦」、「流言蜚語」、「小道消息」、「謠言」..等。

版權所有 @2022,非常規商業網絡。經“UBN Integrity Moments”許可改編,這是一篇關於工作中信仰問題的評論。 UBN 是一個為國際小企業社區服務的信仰事工。

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考下面的經文(因篇幅有限,請查閱未列出的經文箴言15章2、7、23、28節,箴言18章6-8節)

箴言4章24節
4:24 你要除掉邪僻的口,棄絕乖謬的嘴。
箴言10章19-21、32節
10:19 多言多語難免有過;禁止嘴唇是有智慧。
10:20 義人的舌乃 似高銀;惡人的心所值無幾。
10:21 義人的口教養多人;愚昧人因無知而死亡。
10:32義人的嘴能令人喜悅;惡人的口 說乖謬的話。
箴言11章13節
11:13 往來傳舌的,洩漏密事;心中誠實的,遮隱事情。
箴言12章18、23節
12:18 說話浮躁的,如刀刺人;智慧人的舌頭卻為醫人的良藥。
12:23 通達人隱藏知識;愚昧人的心彰顯愚昧。
箴言16章21、23節
16:21 心中有智慧,必稱為通達人;嘴中的甜言,加增人的學問。
16:23 智慧人的心教訓他的口,又使他的嘴增長學問。
箴言17章20節
17:20 心存邪僻的,尋不著好處;舌弄是非的,陷在禍患中。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你如何定義「閒言閒語gossip」?你能舉一個最近聽到的例子嗎?
  2. 你有沒有成為別人閒言閒語的對象或者是受害者呢?那是怎樣的經歷,它對你有什麼影響?你是如何回應的?
  3. 你曾經參與了別人的閒言閒語,也許是在朋友或同事的談話中增加了些東西嗎?如果有,之後你對自己所說的話有重新思考,以及了解自己為什麼這麼說嗎?
  4. 為什麼你認為傳播或參與他人的閒話如此誘人?相較之下,不散佈閒言閒語,而相反地只說能造就人、提升和增進人際關係的話,需要多大的努力呢?請解釋你的答案。


GUARDING AGAINST WORKPLACE GOSSIP

By Rick Boxx

There is a disease afflicting the workplace that receives little attention, but it’s devastating. This “disease” is gossip, the practice of repeating disparaging, demeaning, and often deceitful information about other people. It destroys relationships, damages employee morale, and can poison any workplace environment.

Gossip was a sport to Jennifer, one of my employees early in my business career. In meetings with her, when the names of other people came up, she would often mention something negative she claimed that person had said about me. Several of my relationships became strained due to her gossip. After she was terminated, I discovered many of her comments were lies intended to make herself look better.

I have long appreciated the wisdom of Ephesians 4:29, in which the apostle Paul offered this instruction: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Here are four biblically based insights from this passage and others for helping us guard against gossip:

The first insight is “Unwholesome Words.” Some time ago I participated in a radio interview hosted by someone I had not known previously. Afterward, a friend asked about how my interview went. I began criticizing the radio host’s style. Then God’s Spirit convicted me that my comments were unwholesome and potentially hurtful, undermining the radio host’s credibility. I vowed to guard my tongue in the future.

Stopping workplace gossip begins with us guarding our tongue from unwholesome words. As Proverbs 21:23 teaches, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles.”

The second insight is “Edification,” using our words for building people up, rather than tearing them down with negative comments. Recently, a good friend asked me if I knew a Mr. Mills from my CPA days. I remembered Mr. Mills had hired me right out of college. What I recalled most was how he built up and affirmed me, even persuading me to enthusiastically do things in which I had no interest.

As Romans 15:2 teaches, “Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.”
If you desire to guard yourself against gossip, train yourself to build others up, not tear them down.

The third insight is “Only Necessary Words.” Years ago, I served on the board of a new school. One day an upset parent called after hearing multiple rumors about the school’s leadership. We discovered the source of the rumors was a gossipy mother, exaggerating stories way out of proportion!

James 3:8 wisely observes that, “no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.” To guard against gossip and harmful words, speak only what’s necessary for the moment.

The final insight is “Grace.” The clerk ringing up our groceries was speaking sharp and offensive words to my wife, Kathy. When she pointed out the offense, Kathy was met with indifference, so she pressed the clerk to acknowledge the inappropriate behavior. Upon arriving home, however, Kathy said, “I need to go back to the store and apologize to that clerk.” She did return and brought grace into a strained situation.

As Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Seasoning our speech with grace will prevent hurt feelings and guard against spreading gossip.

Copyright 2022, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments”, a commentary on faith at work issues. Visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How would you define “gossip”? Can you give a recent example that you have heard?
  2. Have you ever been the target or victim of someone else’s gossip? What was that experience like, and how did it affect you? How did you respond?
  3. Can you think of a time when you engaged in gossip about another person, perhaps to “contribute” to a conversation with friends or coworkers? If so, afterward did you have any second thoughts about what you said – and why you said it?
  4. Why do you think it is so tempting to spread or participate in gossip about other people? By comparison, how much effort does it require to take the opposite approach – to speak only words that edify, lift up, and enhance relationships? Explain your answer.

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:     Proverbs 4:24, 10:19-21,32, 11:13, 12:18,23, 15:2,7,23,28; 16:21,23, 17:20, 18:6-8


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